Beef and sheep sector outlines key priorities in 2017 Manifesto

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) are presenting the sector’s priorities to all political parties ahead of this year’s general election in New Zealand.

The two organisations, which represent New Zealand sheep and beef farmers and meat processors, marketers and exporters have outlined in a manifesto – Blueprint for Partnership with the New Zealand Government – a set of key priority policy areas on which to base a stronger partnership with government.

Tim Ritchie: sheep and beef sector a major contributor to the NZ economy.

MIA chief executive Tim Ritchie says the sheep and beef sector is New Zealand’s second largest goods exporter and a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy.

“The sector contributed $7.5 billion to New Zealand’s total GDP last year and we aim to increase this in coming years through partnership and collaboration with government and others.

“Trade is a key priority for our export-focused sector as over 90 percent production is exported, valued at $7.5 billion last year. We are looking to work with government to further the trade-liberalisation agenda including by addressing non-tariff barriers that plague the sector,” Ritchie says.

Sam McIvor: the sector plays an important role in rural communities and employs 80,000 people.

B+LNZ chief executive, Sam McIvor says the sector plays an important role in rural communities, employing around 80,000 people (directly and indirectly) and making it New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry.“The environment is a significant focus for the sector, with managing our impact on water quality a key priority, alongside climate change and biodiversity.”

“We are already undertaking substantial work in the environment space, but need government to work alongside the sector in developing policy equipping farmers with the right knowledge, tools and support for continuous improvement,” he says.

Other priority areas outlined in the manifesto include animal welfare, food safety, biosecurity, innovation, employment relations, immigration, health and safety, and training.

The two organisations will continue to engage and collaborate with government to achieve better outcomes for the sector and New Zealand.

Read the manifesto here.

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